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>> well, would there be any chance that the school would keep corporal punishment? >> you know, there was a very heated debate about this issue. i -- i hope not. i -- i don't think so, but because the student body has been so reactive, and they want corporal punishment to remain, who knows. it's quite possible. >> okay. sunny hostin on the case. sunny, thank you. now to my colleague who has a cameo in "the adjustment bureau," everybody do g see it, including myself. wolf blitzer, to you. >> thanks for the plug. happening now. new moves towards a no-fly zone over libya as pro-gadhafi forces step up their attacks on rebels this hour. new targets, more carnage and the intense pressure for u.s. military action. also, the crisis that libya keeps pushing up gas prices across the country. that's creating more economic misery here at home, and new political danger for president obama. plus, protesters warn the u.s. congress may, may be on the
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brink of stoking new violence against muslims. anger and anticipation are building before controversial hearings this week on islamic extremism in america. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." libya centering the fourth week of what's now a full-fledged civil war. moammar gadhafi's forces are claiming new gains in their pounding of rebel-held cities. gadhafi maintaining a tight grip on the capital of tripoli, and the opposition appears to be holding out to benghazi in the east, but there are conflicting reports about who is in control of several other key cities, where fierce, fierce battles have been raging now for days. diplomatic sources at the united nations say the united states is working with france and britain on draft resolution on libya, a resolution that includes
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language on a no-fly zone. president obama warning once again today that the bloodshed in libya is unacceptable. >> i want to send a very clear message to those who are around colonel gadhafi. it is their choice to make how they operate moving forward, and they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there. in the meantime, we've got nato as we speak consulting in brussels around a wide range of potential options, including potential military options, in the response to the violence that continues to take place inside of libya. >> let's go inside libya right now, and some of the cities where we know fighting is under way. brutal fighting in certain places. our senior international correspondent ben wedeman is in ras lanuf. >> reporter: throughout monday, there have been multiple air strikes on the town of ras
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lanuf, a key refinery town on the mediterranean coast. as far as the battle between anti-gadhafi forces and the libyan army goes, it appears that the libyan army is holding firm in ben jawed, a town about 30 kilometers to the west of here. that was a town that just a few days ago anti-gadhafi forces took and then, however, were forced to flee when the libyan army made a counterattack. at the most, it seems like the libyan army is standing firm there. we've watched as the-and-gadhafi forces have tried to push them back, but it certainly has not worked. now i went to one of those frontal positions of the anti-gadhafi fighters, and they said that on the other side the libyan army has massed tanks, short range, surface-to-surface missiles, lots of forces. in other words, it appears that they have concentrated a lot of military power just 30 kilometers to the west of this town. in this town itself, most of the
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civilians have fled moving east to benghazi and areas around there obviously because of the situation here is so uncertain. i'm ben wedeman, cnn, reporting from ras lanuf. >> we're getting late reports right now of fighting in zawiya despite the libyan government's claim that it has taken that western city. our senior international correspondent nic robertson was there when the bullets were flying. >> reporter: we're about one and a half kilometers, a mile from the center of zawiya. we can hear small arms gunfire, and just down the road up here at an intersection can you see some soldiers at the intersection just ahead down here, down the road. there's a main road there. just along that main road, we saw two big anti-aircraft guns being driven on the backs of trucks across there, and as we've been driving into this area we've been able to hear
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heavy artillery gunfire. we've been allowed to come here with the help of government officials and getting to the army checkpoints from here we've been able to do that. that's the sound of heavy machine gunfire sounds. the shots, just taking cover behind this wall, so that's -- that's what we've been hearing going on on the outskirts of zawiya. we don't know what's going on in the center of the city where the rebels are. they are about a mile away from where we are, and the exchanges of gunfire indicate that this is still a very, very active military area at the moment. that's a crack probably not so far away from where we are right now. it's taken me a little behind this wall where we're okay. we don't have a clear picture of what's happening, but what the government officials have said is that they control this city right now. they control zawiya, and it's very clear that there's a big military operation going on here right now. we've seen checkpoints perhaps as far as three or four miles at
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least. no, perhaps ten kilometers, seven or eight miles in circumference around the city here, but what we can see with our eyes here, the battle is still going on, the fight for zawiya still going on despite the fact that government claims they have taken control of it. nic robertson, cnn, zawiya, libya. >> nic is back in tripoli and is joining us live right now. nic, first thing that went through my mind when i saw that report is where's your armored vest? where's your helmet? what's the matter with you? why weren't you taking better precautions in a dangerous environment lake this. >> reporter: the wall was pretty good security and the problem here, wolf, without sort of giving the whole hand away of the way the journalists are operating here, the government won't take us to these places, and the only way to go there is to get in a car with somebody who is willing to drive us and drive in. and you can through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint, and they look in the trunk of the car and they search
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you. they search the vehicle. if we had body armor in the cars, helmets and such like, we would be turned around and turned back pretty much straight away so the only way you can drive in there is to go in, locate and don't draw a lot of attention to yourself and stay safe as we did behind those walls so really that's the best way to do it >> i admire how cool you were when you were hearing the gunshots going on. you didn't panic, but you must have been scared out of your mind when you ducked behind that wall. >> reporter: the first time i ducked behind it i wasn't so worried because the shots hadn't hit us and we would get behind the wall and we were safe, but when you hear the second couple of shots, i couldn't see what was happening down the road and you don't know, therefore, what is happening, what's going to come next. is somebody coming up the road, and you can see me looking around a bit, and when i watch it afterwards, it's a lesson in how adrenaline actually works
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because 15 seconds or so after the second set of shots you actually -- i can hear myself get out of breath just kneeling there, and i guess that's the adrenaline, so i wouldn't say we were unfazed by it. just tried to get our job done as best we could and tell the story and then pack our bags and get out of there. >> thrilled and all of our viewers are thrilled that you're back safe in tripoli right now. i assume goodity and his forces in tripoli, which they control, rather decisively right now, they -- they are living in this world that they are going to win this war. is that everything -- all the indications of what they are telling you? >> 100%. they firmly believe it. they believe they can beat the rebels in zawiya and misrata and all the way into the rebel areas further east, and the clan, as far as we can ascertain, is not to try to take all the areas, the big cities like benghazi where there's close to 1 million people living, it's to take the
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key oil cities and then sort of pressure the rebels to negotiate by essentially saying we've taken this, can come and get you. let's not do it. that seems to be their attitude right now but what we're seeing in usa yeah, for example, even when you have a professional or what is supposed to be a professional very well-equipped army, this country is not short of money for equipping the army, they are still having a tough time driving out what they describe as 100 rebels holed up inside the city. it makes you realize it's not just what you've got but how you use it and libya does seem to struggle to use its military in a very effective and efficient way, wolf. >> nic is one of our courageous journalists, as all our viewers know. be careful over there. appreciate it very, very much. serious discussions are under way about imposing a no-fly zone over libya, so why was a top u.s. general joking about attack the country? stand by for that. and the question that got
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defense secretary robert gates all choked up. and the supreme court gives a death row inmate a new chance to prove his innocent.
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possible republican
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candidates on jack cafferty's mind. he's here with "the cafferty file." >> the conventional wisdom is you cannot see india from sarah palin's house so the former governor of alaska who quit halfway through her first term is going to go to india and guess a firsthand look. palin will be on her way to new delhi next week. she's been invited to deliver the keynote address at a two-day leadership event called the india today conclave, an annual conference that attracts business and political leaders from around the world. attendees this year will include the indian prime minister, manmohan singh, and nobel peace prize winner mohamed elbaradei who is one of the possible replacements for the deposed egyptian president hosni mubarak. last year's keynote speaker was former president bill clinton. the title of palin's speech is "my vision of america." reports it comes as no surprise that the group invited palin. india is fascinated with
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american politics because so many indians have immigrated to the u.s. and found success and many still have relatives in india. the indian press regularly follows the careers of indian-american politicians like louisiana governor bobby jindal, newly elected governor nikki haley of south carolina, both republicans. palin's support for nikki haley has been credited for giving her campaign a boost but the media in india also follow closely what's going on in washington, as well as outside the beltway. with that in mind, maybe sarah palin can learn something from them while she's there. here's a question. what can sarah palin teach india about american politics? go to and post a comment on my blog. wolf. >> i assume she's getting paid a lot of money to deliver that speech in india. do we know? >> i don't know. i can't imagine she'd be going over there for the hell of it. i'm sure there's a hefty price tag attached to it >> i wonder if she will get more than bill clinton got last year for giving that speech because
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he gets a lot of money on the speaking tour himself. makes a ton of money, too. >> somebody said he made $10 million one year giving speeches, but he knows something. >> millions of dollars, nothing wrong with that. >> the difference is bill clinton knows things. >> jack. one of our viewers e-mail you with the answer, how much he's getting paid for the speech. let me know. >> i will, but i doubt very much that that's public information. >> we'll find out. jack, thanks very much. the white house confirms today that sending ground troops to libya is a possible option, but the press secretary jay carney says it's not at the top of the list. most of the talk centers on a no-fly zone as well as the military's role in humanitarian efforts. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence who is watching the situation unfold. chris, three weeks now, four weeks into this war, and we're calling it, deliberately calling it a civil war. the president is very much still weighing all the options out there. >> yeah, wolf, because at the heart of it the u.s. does not
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want to go it alone. u.s. officials want and really need the legal justification that only comes with the united nations issuing a resolution. american military leaders have been asked so often what will you do about libya that it's become an inside joke. but the range of options is serious, from no-fly zones to more intense intrusions. >> no option has been removed from the table, but ground troops is not sort of top of the list at this point. >> in a former defense secretary even a no-fly zone can't operate solely in the sky. >> in addition, you have to have search-and-rescue teams to back up those planes that might get shotdown. >> william cohen says any operation can grow beyond what it's originally designed to do. >> no-fly zone can quickly have
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mission creep into no-drive zones, and then you're talking about people on the ground. >> reporter: libya's air force command is in tripoli. compared to nato pilots, libya's pilots are believed to get four times less training in the air. most fighter jets are the old soviet-era migs and in all total, probably fewer than 200 are operational and their helicopter fleet is smaller, perhaps no more than a dozen attack helicopters built more than 30 years ago. still, u.s. officials insist any military effort needs international backing. >> there is no authorized use of force right now in the u.n. resolution that's out there. >> reporter: nato has begun around-the-clock surveillance flights near libya. france, britain and the u.s. are working on a new draft of that u.n. resolution, one that includes language on a no-fly zone. >> it is an evolving situation, and as i said, i can't imagine the international community and
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the united nations standing idly by. >> reporter: the draft, the text of that new draft will probably relate more to triggers, not timelines, so expect -- don't expect to hear we will enforce this on that day, an instead hear more about if libya continues to commit human rights violations, then we can quickly turn what's written on the page into an actual resolution to act. wolf? >> i know the libyans, they have the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, those old stingers, but how significant, how robust is their air defense system to shoot down let's say nato or u.s. planes if they were trying to enforce the no-fly zone? >> reporter: in north africa, probably second only to egypt. they have got roughly about 30 missile sites there along the coast, but, wolf, some perspective here. 25 years okay u.s. jets did bomb libya in retaliation for colonel gadhafi's support of terrorism.
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they dropped about 400 bombs and only lost one plane. in the last 25 years, libya has not updated its air defenses all that much, while u.s. planes are now equipped with some of the latest satellite-guided weapons. >> chris lawrence work the story for us. thanks, chris. certainly has a talent for negotiating with some of the united states' most dangerous adversaries. just ahead, i'll speak with the diplomat, former secretary at the united nations and energy secretary bill richardson. he's here live in "the situation room." i'll ask him if he'd be willing to go to libya and tell gadhafi it's time to go. also, it was mission to help libya's opposition forces and then it backfired. also coming up, one key u.s. ale's situation. wrench? wrench. basic. preferred. at meineke i have options on oil changes. and now i get free roadside assistance with preferred or supreme. my money. my choice. my meineke.
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defense secretary robert gates is getting all choked up during a surprise visit unannounced to afghanistan. lisa sylvester is monitoring that story and others in "the situation room." it's sad to me that a defense secretary of the united states ten years into the war in afghanistan still can't go through there without it being a surprised, unannounced, still too dangerous, ten years after this war started. >> yeah. >> it's just depressing when you think about it. you can't go there if you're president, vice president, defense secretary and announce a week in advance or a month in advance, we're going on an official visit. it says a lot about that current situation. >> it does, and you know what's
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remarkable is that it has been ten years to begin with, wolf. the secretary was there and addressing u.s. troops and got a little emotional when he was asked this question. >> what keeps you up at night? >> what keeps me up at night, i got that question in front of congress last week. i would tell you that you all keep me up at night. i think a lot about the people out here and what you're having to put up with and the conditions you live in and the sacrifices you make and the friends you lose. i've been doing this now for going on four and a half years and that's -- that's pretty much
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what keeps me up at night. >> he did get emotional there. the visit comes following the recent death of nine afghan boys and a nato-led helicopter operation meant to target insurgents. afghan president hamid karzai had indicated up to this point that u.s. apologies for the incident were not enough, but today he did accept an apology from gates. the supreme court is granting a texas death row inmate the right to pursue dna testing of crime scene evidence not tested during his trial. henry hank skinner is charged with the 1993 murders of his girlfriend and her two sons. the court's decision doesn't get him off death row but gives him another chance to prove his innocence. prosecutors maintain skinner is guilty. former french president jacques chirac is on trial for allegedly embezzling money from paris during the time he was mayor. he had the job from 1987 to 1995 is accused of using public money
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to pay people working for his political party. if found guilty he could face ten years in prison but he's denying any involvement. >> shocking stuff. interviewed him back in the 1909ds at the g-8 summit in cologne, germany, to think that he's under investigation for that at this stage in his life is pretty sad. >> could get prison time. >> pretty shocking. more powerful voices are weighing in over the debate over a no-nine zone over libya. i'll talk with a troubleshooter with a unique perspective on the conflict. that's former new mexico governor bill richardson who is here live in "the situation room." protest and anxiety before congress holds hearings on the radicalization of muslim-americans, and tornado deo, literally, tornado video that will blow you away. phone in the room...king ...also had brains. and let you watch your favorite movies... find the best restaurants... play xbox live... and keep up with your friends. if it had that
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nato now says it's conducting around-the-clock surveillance flights over the wore torn area of libya. u.n. officials, i should say, are warning we could see even more carnage in the immediate days ahead as moammar gadhafi presses on with his brutal fight to hold on to power. still, no decision yet by the
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united states and its allies on a no-fly zone. joining us now the well-known diplomatic troubleshooter bill richardson, the former new mexico governor and the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and former energy secretary. mr. ambassador, thanks very much for coming. you want to be called ambassador or governor. what do you like? >> call me bill, after traveling together in north korea, you can call me anything you like. >> we'll talk about that on another owe case. libya right now. somebody at some point is going to have to go to tripoli, look gadhafi in the eyes and say, colonel, it's over, over. you can either get killed here and leave and go some place else. who would be the best person to go there and give him that blunt message. >> somebody like colin powell, somebody that has foreign policy credentials but also military credentials, somebody that gadhafi knows is close to
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president obama. there's a number of people but i would put general powell at the top of list, and i believe this has to happen again gadhafi is clinging on to power. he can either go to zimbabwe or venezuela and is probably hanging on because he doesn't want to do either. >> is there an arab leader, a monarch or president with a relationship with gadhafi who said you know what, colonel, you've got to get out of here. >> i don't believe so. he's been the leader of africa along with the sudanese president, along with north africa. mandela, i don't know the status of his health but i think it will happen soon. the italians have a lot of leverage over libya, but i think it will take somebody with a very strong american connection. >> still getting nice words from hugo chavez, praising and attacking the united states. fidel castro writing nice stuff
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about gadhafi but you don't see either of one of them having the guts to tell gadhafi it's over. >> if gadhafi is thinking of exile, those are the only two or three that would take him. >> mugabe and zimbabwe. >> the saudi royal family took in idi amin, but they won't take gadhafi because he tried to whack them off. >> you met with diplomatic thugs all over the world. we were just in north korea what. have they said to tripoli and here's the message to deliver to gadhafi. he would see you but would you do it? >> i would do it but i'm not the definition of the state department's traditional diplomat. >> do that all the time, been to syria and iran and cuba, been all over the world in these kinds of situations. >> well, obviously, if the president asked me, i would do it but i don't see that in the cards. i think they want a more tradition traditional diplomat, but sub-is going to have to do it, and you
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think this no-fly zone you've been saying for the past couple of days is a good idea. the u.s. should do it even though gates and bill daley, the president's chief of staff and others say you know what, this is not a video game, this is tough stuff. >> well, what i have said is it should be a no-fly zone administered by nato, internationally recognized. i think if you go through the u.n. you're going to face a veto by the russians or the chinese. i do think there are ways we can help the rebels. we can help them with humanitarian airlifts. i would support a covert effort to arm the rebels. i think we have to stand behind those rebels, but it has to be international. it's got to be france, britain, out-of-area nato. got to be careful about a no-fly zone. can't just say do it. >> in all my reporting inside the administration, the executive branch of the government, it doesn't seem that the u.s. government has a good handle yet on who these rebels
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are. they -- if they -- if they could trust them, they might give them stinger missiles or shoulder-fired missiles to knock down libyan warplanes but they are not sure they would be giving the weapons to the right people. >> look, sometimes you've got to take a gamble, take a risk. these are rebels. these are young men and women that want gadhafi out. they are not going to be a perfect military structure or government structure. it looks like they are forming a provisional government, but i think in the end, the united states and nato should stand behind those that are trying to get rid of gadhafi, that they should back them. you've got to be careful how you do it militarily, but all diplomatic assistance, humanitarian assistance, maybe eventually recognize this provisional government once it's formed, but what you don't want is a carnage in libya. >> yeah. >> and the international community kind of sitting back. i like what president obama
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said. gadhafi has to come out. he's forming a diplomatic coalition, that's good, but i think eventually it's going to take a military combined effort with nato >> put on your hat as a former u.s. energy secretary, former governor, if you will, too. is it time, given the increasing cost per gallon of a gallon of gasoline, is it time to tap the strategic petroleum reserve to make sure that the price doesn't go over $4 a barrel? >> yes. >> $4 a gallon. >> yes, i think we need to tap it. we need to tap it to protect the home heating oil prices situation in the northeast. we need to tap it to disrupt -- >> right away. >> when you were energy secretary you tapped it. >> president clinton ordered me to tap it. >> the second time the united states did it. >> for home heating oil reasons. >> it was a good idea. the price went down and disrupted opec's efforts to try to control the price. what opec needs to do is increase production so the price goes down, but if you disrupt
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it, you send a signal to the markets that the price is too high, and it is too high. motorists in america around the world, it's a worldwide problem, so i would tap it. i would tap it significantly, and i would tap it now. >> governor richardson, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. thanks for having me. >> thank you. democratic lawmakers in wisconsin make a new offer in their paralyzing standoff with the republican governor. stand by for the latest on the battle over the budget and union workers' rights. and see for yourself what it's like when a tornado comes tearing through town. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." ♪ [ male announcer ] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front. adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you.
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[ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit to learn more. the wisconsin government scott walker calls state democrats' latest proposal to resume talks over his controversial budget plan, and i'm quoting him now, ridiculous. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in situation situation. what's going on. >> the senate leader asked the republican governor for a meeting today at the state border. democratic senators recently fled toil know in protest over the governor's budget plan. the proposal curbs union bargaining rights and has united weeks of fierce opposition. democrats say they will return to the state only when collective bargaining is off the table. president obama has issued a statement saying the united states will resume using military commissions to
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prosecute alleged terrorists held at guantanamo bay. the announcement also indicated the white house remains committed to closing the controversial detention facility. the president had previously pledged to close it within a year of taking office and has since run into complications and dramatic surveillance video from a drug store in the western part of louisiana as it got pummeled by a vicious tornado. take a look here. the twister which was packing winds of up to 135 miles an hour killed at least one person and injured more than ten t.caused massive damage over a five-mile stretch and wreaked havoc on mardi gras celebrations taking place over the weekend. very sad devastation there. >> don't go too far away. mounting pressure on the united states right now to intervene directly in the libyan crisis. just ahead, why one columnist says american credibility is at stake. and they are a-list pop stars coming clean about their private performances for the libyan dictator moammar gadhafi.
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more opportunities happen. right it our strategy session. our cnn political contributor roland martin and former bush speech writer david frum, editor of want to talk about your interview with colin powell in a
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moment. you just heard bill richardson say colin powell is the guy who could go to tripoli and look gadhafi in the eyes and say it's over. you're leaving. >> if you read marcus mayberry's book on condoleezza rice he laid out how gadhafi was just in love with condoleezza rice. why don't we send her if he has so much affection. probably will pull him out of libya and make this thing real simple. >> sort of makes sense for colin powell to go along. >> they are shooting live ammunition at people who tell colonel gadhafi it's time to go so i don't know that he'll take kindly to that. >> or his wife. >> here's the president's political strategic problem n.2009 there is a big protest against the undemocratic regime in iran. it survives by the application of massive lethal force f.gadhafi survives there's going to be an ugly contrast where iran survives, gadhafi survafs, ham yaz, hezbollah, they all survive. it is the american friends who are non-democratic who are going down before this wave of protests, and that -- that shows
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that those regimes are more open, but what will it say to wobblers, people on the fence, if america's friends in a time of crisis, they go down and america's enemies come out stronger. >> you wrote this at you said america's credibility is on the line, do you agree? >> you did not see the same rebel forces in iran in 2009 that you're seeing now in libya. >> they were not violent. >>-ins a civil war in libya. >> both sides are armed. >> and when you look at the history of civil wars in various countries, it's about the people there driving this and not us, so i think -- certainly i think in international matters, not just us. >> let me play a clip from your interview with colin powell that aired on tv-one over the weekend. listen to this. >> we have to be careful and have to watch it, but don't just jump in because the heat of the moment suggests you should jump in. if you're going to not let their planes fly, what are you going
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to do about the forces, the ground forces that are really doing the killing. the planes don't seem to be doing that much damage compared to what's going on on the ground. >> makes a fair point. >> makes an excellent point. people need to understand that an american intervention does not necessarily mean an invasion, and it does not necessarily mean the use of -- of heavy-handed american methods. we should consider -- we fought a proxy war with gadhafi in 1997, the so-called toyota war where gadhafi invaded chad and the united states tilted to the defense of chad and provided the chadians with the weapons they needed to expel the libyans from the country. american weapons, i'm sure some american advisers and american trainers but no american ground forces. that is the kind of thing that we need to be doing here. one of the cautions that may be made, as you are saying, because we don't know a lot about the rebels and they may turn out to be not the nicest people in the world. >> we don't know anything. some may be great guys, others not so great. >> prudent assumption not the greatest people in the world,
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but the thing we also need to remember is we have a blood debt from gadhafi, lockerbie murderer. the man who received one of the greatest acts of mass murder against america, the terrorists received by gadhafi as an honored guest. a very basic message to send, you know, we don't know a lot about the rebels but know a lot about gadhafi. >> and that's why this president, as the governor said, must look at how do you deal with nato and deal with international because we also recognize gadhafi has already tried to use america's power as saying, oh, they are the ones behind this. we also have a history and in northern africa of intervening and using our power to affect what's happened there politically. something we must consider. that's a dangerous precedent for us when people already say we don't like the american presence anyway. >> fair enough. consider how gadhafi will behave if he survives because he's convinced himself that the united states is the cause. >> do you think he can survive? >> i have no idea. >> let's hope not. >> i think we should -- we
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should not assume he's going to fall on his own weight. >> that's the whole point. this can go either way so our actions, we must tread very carefully as opposed to folks jumping up and saying absolutely, no-fly zone, let's send weapons have you to understand what you're dealing with. >> can you get china and russia to agree to a resolution, to at least abstain at the security council in favor of a no-fly zone? >> it doesn't look like that and that's another reason it may not be the right way to go. didn't have a u.n. resolution for kosovo where the american interest is probably less immediate. >> i don't even know if the united states can get nato unanimity on this issue. >> well, look, we talked about president barack obama folks giving him a nobel peace prize and folks loving him internationally. this is when the president must use that goodwill international throw effect some kind of change. >> our european allies are terrified of a civil war, refugee flows. 200 miles to the island of lampedusa. >> 170 miles, to be precise.
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>> thank you very much, and they are worried about thousand and thousands of people trying to claim refugee status. they want an early end to this situation and the only way to get an early end is getting rid of gadhafi. >> there's a history. >> they also wanted to see it end soon because of gas prices. >> you heard richardson say tap the petroleum reserve right now so you can lower the price but that's a subject we'll talk about more in the next hour. thanks very much. gas prices, as we've been saying have been going up every single day now for almost two weeks. we'll hear firsthand from americans feeling the pain at the pump. it's like a tax has been imposed on the american public, and we'll take you inside the stronghold of the libyan rebels. where they are fighting for the country and for international recognition. ht... ..we make a sculpture. we don't just make a sunroof... ..we make the heavens wide. we don't just make a crossover...
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gas prices on a roller coaster over the last five years and clearly on the rise once again right now driven by the concerns about a libyan civil war. the ample price right now $3.51 a gallon, an increase of almost 33 cents in only two weeks. it's the second biggest price jump in the history of the gasoline market. the last one after hurricane katrina in 2005. let's bring in cnn's tom foreman joining us from memphis, tennessee, with more. this is a problem that affects everyone in the country right now, tom. >> absolutely, wolf. some people more than others in some ways. we're along i-40 in little rock.
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and the simple truth is, this is the part of the country, this broad swathe of states from about alabama over to texas sort of down near the gulf, the central gulf area, that led the country in the increased amount of driving as the country tried to crawl out of the recession. more people doing business, more people traveling, more people buying, trying to make things happen. rural areas by and large have moved up in their travel as we've tried to recover. the result is that last year, americans traveled 3 trillion miles, the highest number since 2007. that's 20 billion more miles than in 2009. and yet, all up and down these roads, wolf, i can tell you, many people may not want to talk a lot about what's happening in libya but they'll talk to you what's happening at their gas station. listen. >> gas prices are ridiculous. me and my wife really we have to figure out should we eat or should i go to work.
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>> if i forget something i might say i need 0 run back to the store three or four times a day, i'm not going to do it. >> it would take money 0 to operate a car. so i basically just stay at home. i work and go home and go to church. that's it. >> it's very simple, wolf. what people are saying out here, we're doing the building up america tour looking at how people are bringing their byes back and people are an afraid saying look, this can stall everything out. it's not just folks driving around for their jobs or to buy things. it's also trucking, wolf, which the more you move out toward the west and get broader expanses, it's unbelievably important for moving products around. 54 billion gallons of fuel are used by truckers every year, 13% of all the fuel in this country. if that keeps going up and it reflexes through the trucking, it means all the cost of these
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products go up. an awful lot of folks are looking at fuel costs and are saying is this going to impede my ability to build up my part of america and will it ultimately stall an awful lot of the recovery under way. >> because the cost of food and all sorts of other products that have to be transported by land are going up. that's one reason you just heard the former energy secretary, bill richardson, flatly say it's time to tap the strategic petroleum reserve right now to contain that price. tom foreman, we'll check back with you tomorrow, as well. thanks very much. jack cafferty is asking, what can sarah palin teach india, the country of india about american politics? jack, and your e-mail coming up. and are rebel forces in libya digging in for a long-term civil war? details ahead. and here's where the diet stuff happens.
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jack's back with the cafferty file. jack? >> the question this hour is what can sarah palin teach india. american politics? she's on her way to new delhi this week to keynote an international get together. lou writes she could teach them that we have a vibrant democracy
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founded on freedom of and from religion, freedom of speech, even for the media, and the basic principle of equal individual rights. but i don't think she's learned that herself so there's no telling what she's likely to spew out. bud writes is, maybe you're on to something here. charles de gaulle once said of all the u.s. modern presidents, lbj best illustrated what america really is, aggressive, foul mouthed, tough, the whole nine yards. kennedy and the east coast types merely cover-ups for the real deal. maybe sarah could be elected after all. nah. jim writes you're correct. she's no bill clinton. you do know, however, that our government's broken. i think she knows that, as well. she may be simplistic but she could help reverse the current trend. carolyn writes, i don't know what she can teach them about her vision for america. just imagine the poor interpreter trying to translate palinese to indian and the
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polite smiling audience wondering why he's ordering a mousse on rye. mike writes in american politics, anyone can be president. anyone, anyone at all. ben in maryland, she can teach them facts should never get in the way. if you don't like the facts, change them and teach them that you don't have to know anything to succeed in politics. tell a good story and find someone that can be blamed for whatever distortions you try to make up. mike says, jack, please try to keep up with the times and get off this sarah palin gig. charlie sheen is where it's happening now, man. if you want to read more on the subject, file. wolf? wolf? >> jack, thank you. -- captions by vitac -- happen you now, the uprising in libya. a full civil war as fighting rages between forces loyal to gadhafi and rebels determined to
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oust him. gas prices soaring in american consumers and businesses are feeling is the pinch. what will it mean for the still struggling u.s. economy? plus, a controversial congressional hearing on muslim americans and radicalization. some are comparing it to a witch hunt. we'll hear from the lawmakerer behind it. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the eyes of the world are on libya right now. we're following the latest developments this hour. among them it, nato is now conducting what are called surveillance flights of libya around the clock. meanwhile, momentum is building at the united nations for a no-fly zone over libya with the u.s., britain and france working on a draft resolution. and with the conflict now entering its fourth deadly week and growing in scope and scale, every single day, cnn now
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considers what's happening in libya to be a full scale civil war. we have an update on the situation on the ground in libya. we received just a little while ago from cnn's arwa damon in the eastern city of benghazi which is now under rebel control. >> are they digging in for a sustained long-term civil war? what's the sense you're getting over there? >> reporter: you know, wolf, a few days ago when we were talking to the opposition leaders they truly believed this would be all over in a few days and at this point they would in tripoli. now it seems as if the fight that they're encountering much tougher than they anticipated. the soldiers or the opposition soldiers if you want to call them that out there are really just civilians. they don't have much military experience. and it's been quite a learn as you go process that has been very challenging. i think now there is the realization they're not going to have that easy path all the way
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from benghazi to tripoli. they most certainly do appear to be digging in, intensifying their efforts trying to format least a military plan so that they can strategically move forward at this point. >> are they seeking u.s., european recognition from the arab world as well? do they want the world to recognize this opposition force in benghazi as the legitimate government of the libyan people? >> yes, wolf. they most definitely do. in fact, the decree they issued over the weekend states simply that they declare themselves to be the sole authority that can speak on behalf of all of the libyan people to the international community. they very much do want to be viewed as being a valid entity and say this is critical in reaching their ultimate goal which is, of course, bringing down the government of colonel moammar gadhafi. and they're very aware of the fact that they do also need this legitimacy as we do try to go
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forward. they have to problem not only to their own people but to the international community that they are capable of governing, that they would be capable of bringing about a democratic government in this country. but they also realize that they are still dealing with a very chaotic situation bearing in mind that most of the people who are involved in the opposition leadership have very little experience actually governing or putting together the type of democratic government that they are trying to establish. >> are they also appealing for weapons and a no-fly zone? is that in the conversations you've had with them? are those two major requests that they're making? >> they most certainly are, wolf. and they're very worried about the time that it could be taking for some sort of a no-fly zone to be established. they very adamant in that most of them don't want to see any sort of foreign military presence in libya but do want a no-fly zone because they're
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growing increasingly anxious that gadhafi could up his aerial bombing campaign and worried he could resort to using chemical weapons and realize that they are outgunned by those soldiers who are staunchly loyal to colonel gadhafi himself. many people saying that they would like to see air strikes being carried out by the u.s., by nate toe, by some sort of an outside force to at least level the playing field, wolf. >> arwa dame on in benghazi. thanks very much. meanwhile, britain is scrambling to explain an embarrassing blunder in its response to the libyan crisis. cnn's brian todd picks up that part of the story. what's going on? >> the british government says this was an innocuous diplomatic mission to meet with libyan leaders and assess the situation on the grounds. sources tell us most members of that british team were not diplomats. what starts out as a mission to help rebel forces in libya
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backfires for a key u.s. ally. a group of british special forces soldiers and a diplomat were reportedly dropped off in the cover of night by helicopter. they were captured and briefly detained by angry rebel leaders, sources tell cnn. they were caught with weapons, reconnaissance equipment and multiple passports according to the guardian newspaper. britain's foreign secretary called them all diplomats and had to face a grill on the floor of parliament. >> last week i authorized the dispatch of a small british diplomatic team to eastern libya in uncertain circumstances which we judged required protection. they were withdrawn yesterday after a serious misunderstanding about their role leading to their temporary detention. >> the british public are entitled to wonder whether if some new neighbors moved into the foreign secretary's street, he would introduce himself by ringing the doorbell or instead choose to climb over the fence in the middle of the night. >> the team was later released and extracted from libya to a british warship. one expert says the mission may
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end up hurting the rebels. >> what the british did by sending people in there threatens to undermine the claim that its a homegrown revolution driven by young people who simply want to get rid of the regime. >> british officials tell cnn the team was there to meet with opposition leaders and get a better reading of the political, humanitarian and military situation on the ground. >> as embarrassing as this episode is for the british, experts including a former u.s. defense secretary tell us if the major powers want moammar gadhafi out and are prepared to support the opposition, it's normal even advisable to send assessment teams in despite the dangers. >> william cohen led the air campaign over yugoslavia as defense secretary. >> to have people on the ground whether it's our diplomats or weather it is people that are simply reporting newspaper and news media people, all of that would be important to understanding hog are the people who are rebelling and what are their goals and whether they are
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going to be moving forward. >> william cohen says missions like this have to be put into broader contempt, that the major powers have to look at each middle east country individually, and understand what their role is in the consequences of coming down on one side or the other. missions like this, he says, help you understand that. british officials tell us they intend to send another team in libya and say this will be a diplomatic mission to "strengthen dialogue." wolf? >> aside from possibly hurting the rebels in the short term, this could also have other consequences. they could go against the u.s. and its allies. >> that's right. experts say first it could play into gadhafi's claim that foreign powers are intervening in his country and he could use those for propaganda. but they say in a wider contempt, it could fuel suspicion that western powers are somehow trying to hijack this revolution. that's something the u.s.,
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britain and allies don't really need to have happen right now as they weigh options. >> i know they're very sensitive to that. the white house says all options are on the table right now as the u.s. watches the civil war in libya unfold, including sending u.s. troops to the region although the white house press secretary, jay carney, says that's not at the top of the list. neither is arming the libyan rebels at least for now. let's get more with our senior political analyst david gergen and gloria borger. gloria, listen specifically to what jay carney said today. >> you have to be very cognizant of when you pursue these options what it is you're trying to accomplish. i think that would be premature to send a bunch of weapons to a post office box in eastern libya. we need to not get ahead of ourselves in terms of the options we're pursuing, and again, i would refer you to the fact that we are reviewing and
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implementing actions with great haste. >> because i know based on my reporting, they don't have a lot of good information who these rebels really are. >> right. they want to find out, i was told, who's who, where they are on universal rights, representative democracy, economic rights. they have to be sure certainly before you arm them who they're going to be sending these arms to, and as far as a no-fly zone goes, wolf, they also have to figure out just who they'd be shooting at because some of the rebels happen to be flying airplanes. and so there's all kinds of things that can go wrong. i was told you've got to know who's flying the plane, also a flo no-fly zone would not apply to helicopters. there are lots of helicopter in the air. it could backfire if there's a mistake. if you do it, you want to do it with nato. >> i fellow also what's weighing very much on the president's mind right now, david, is that it's easier to get into i an military conflict like this than it is to get out.
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he points out and we've learned from iraq and afghanistan, afghanistan ten years later, we're still stuck there spending what, $2 billion a week. >> that's true. that's true. you know if you're looking for reasons you don't want to go in, all sorts of things that go wrong, all these hobb goblins you're going to find them and persuade yourself. the important thing of what's going on right now is in "the situation room" there at the white house and in the counsels with the president, it's clear that a consensus has developed that is basically let's go slow, it's only go in if we have to. let's be very prudent and even though jay carney, new press secretary, proceeding with great haste, that is not the appearance on the outside, or course. >> because the danger, the delicate tight rope they're walking, they want to scare gadhafi but at the same time, they don't necessarily want to take the actual action. they want to send a message, you're in trouble, you'd better get out of there but at the same time don't want to necessarily back it up with deeds.
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>> the whole mantra has been and they look to egypt as example although egypt is very, very different from libya. you say we don't want this to be perceived as being a u.s. inspired revolution. and the president in particular and everybody around him, they're very, very well aware of that that they cannot, this cannot be seen as something that the rebels are doing because they're backed by the united states and would backfire against them. >> that's true. but in most administrations once the president is committed to an outcome, then you begin to look for ways to reach that outcome. >> they are. >> they said they were committed to getting them out of there. since they said that, the momentum has shift back to gadhafi. it's no longer in the hands of the rebels. it's now more of a standoff. at some point, the pressure is building up. some of the arab voices now are starting to say we would like to see you take more effective action. i think if they really wanted to go in, i think they could stir
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up an international coalition and get the arabs to call forth. >> i think they're trying to do it. >> they haven't gotten very far. >> you know what goes on behind the scenes. it's very difficult. >> it's often not what you see on the surface. >> here's it the most frustrating thing, the intelligence on what's actually happening on the ground right now, who a lot of these folks are is not necessarily what it should be. the president asks questions. they want answers and it sort of gets frustrating when you don't have the answers. you've been in the white house. you know what it's like when there's a limited amount of intelligence. >> i tried to ask what kind of people are you talking to. the answer that i received from a senior administration official was we can't talk about sources, obviously. because we'll get them in trouble and we don't want to do that. suffice it to say, we do believe we have some sources. i was told, for example, they believe the number of planes being flown by gadhafi's forces has decreased recently although they say it could increase
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again. we just don't know. but it's clear that they've got some way to monitor that. >> i think it goes all the way back, the cia director came out and said we have information that mubarak may leave tonight. it turned out he was quoting press reports. it was very unfortunate. it underscores the fact he doesn't have a lot of assets on human intelligence. >> diplomats got out of dodge. they left for understandable reasons. >> not forget the mistake gadhafi is shall we say not a rational man. >> each day there are more people being slaughtered by a regime that the president said must go and has not gun. >> americans are already feeling shock waves from the unrest in libya in the form of higher gas prices. they're scoring right now. there's real concern what it will mean for the fragile u.s. economic recovery. and one congressman's plan to investigate radicalization among muslim americans sparking a huge controversy.
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curtis: welcome back to geico geck csteve, go right on the ahead. steve: yeah, u i jt afree rate, saved a ton, and it only took me 5 minutes and 12 seconds! steve: i was wondering that some sort of record? gecko: that's a good question. e 5 milet's have a look.ds! curtis: mmmm, not quite. someone's got you beat by 8 seconds. cko: still, i mean, at's... that's qui steve: well, what if i told you i only used one hand? anncr: geico. 15 nuco save yor insurance. >> wolf, today is the 158th day the federal government has operated without a budget. the clock's ticking on that two-week extension congress approved last week which kept the government from the effectively shutting its doors for business this morning. here's sort of where we stand. republicans want to cut spending by about $61 billion.
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that was what the house of representatives agreed on a couple weeks ago in their bill. the democratic majority in the senate only wantston cut $10.5 billion. hello. we're looking at a projected deficit of $1.65 trillion this year alone, and these clowns are talking about chump change. not to suggest that our congress people lack guts but last friday republican senators jim demint and tom coburn introduced a bill that would cut about $400 million a year from the budget by stripping all federal funding for the corporation for public broadcasting. they want to kill big bird and elmo. not a word about touching entitlement programs, social security, medicare, corporate subsidies, the defense budget but children's programming apparently is on the table. in this week's "time" magazine cover story fareed zakaria wonders if america's best days are behind her and points to how
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the u.s. is now comparing with other wealthy countries when it comes to things like student test scores, miserably, graduation rates, life expectancy, crime and national debt. we're falling way behind on all fronts. zakaria says the larger discussion in washington is about everything except what's important. unquote. like killing funding for sesame street. here's the question -- is the federal government broken beyond repair? i sort of think it is. go to file. post a comment on my blog. >> fareed wrote a strong article in "time" magazine. and he had a great documentary, great one-hour special last night, as well. thanks very much, jack, for that. gunfire breaks the silence near the korea military tarized zone. what's happening.on the korean peninsula? >> the it the u.s. and south korea are joining forces on the korean peninsula taking part in annual live fire military drills near the demilitarized zone.
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tensions have been high since north korea shelled a south korean island during exercises by the south last year. in the past, pyongyang has called the drills a deliberate provocation and has threatened to "ungulf seoul in a sea of flames." sarah palin's dad really doesn't let his guns out of his sight. chuck heath says is he sleeps with the guns at night. her mother sally adds she is worried about her daughter's safety since she was picked as mccain's running mates in the presidential election, but sarah palin herself says says her family has put up with a lot of flack during her 20 years in politics. the so-called birther controversy about where president obama grew up won't go all the way to the supreme court. the high court today rejected an appeal from a birther activist questioning mr. obama's american citizenship. the long shot petition urged obama an fointed justices kagan to recuse themselves for
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conflict of interest. and the crew of the space shuttle discovery got a wake-up call from captain kirk of the star ship enterprise today. his alter ego william shatner did the honors. "discovery" is on its final mission and has undocked to return home as the "star trek" theme played, shatner paid tribute to the "discovery" and its the astronauts with a message familiar to all trekkies. >> these have been is the voyages of the space shuttle "discovery." her 30-year mission, to seek out new science to, build new outposted, to bring nations together on the final frontier to, boldly go and do what no spacecraft has done before. >> having a little fun with that. >> very cool. >> you made it your hollywood debut, didn't you? >> i don't know if it's my hollywood debut but i had a tiny little cameo in the new movie "the adjustment bureau."
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i have a supporting role. i'm not the star. >> that is a reason to go see the movie. >> i'm not soap sure, but people tell me, i didn't see it yet. i'm looking forward to seeing it. thanks very much. some call it blood money. some of the world's biggest pop stars are left red faced after they pocketed pill millions of dollars for performing for moammar gadhafi's family. you're going to find out what mariah carey and others are now doing to try to make amends. and here's where the diet stuff happens. like the other stuff, diet snapple has healthy stuff. [ horn honks ] and tasty stuff. we just took out the calories and stuff. so who comes up with this stuff? i do. ooh! now who wants some free stuff? [ all ] me! snapple. the best diet stuff on earth. by giving me huge discounts on rooms hotels can't always fill. with unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. where you book matters. expedia.
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upheaval in north africa and the middle east may seem a world away to so many millions of americans but we're all feeling its impact right now in the form of higher gas prices. lisa sylvester is back with more on this part of the story. prices are going up across the country. >> they are, in fact. we have a map that we can share with everyone. this map is from gas
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and shows where the highest gas prices are, the areas you see in red, california, alaska, hawaii. those are the areas that are above $3.70 a gallon. most of the country hope to is in the yellow range, about $3 to $3.50. what you're not seeing a lot of places in green where gas is below $3.30. these high prices are now ip packing a lot of small businesses. >> caruso flowers has been in business for four generations in washington, d.c. they've been able to be weather the ups and downstairs of gas prices but it's hard when prices jump 19 cents per gallon in just one week. >> gas prices are going sky high. last month our gas price alone were close to $8,400. just for gas. and that doesn't count everything else that you do in this business. >> that's up $2500 a month. phil caruso doesn't intend to raise his customers' prices but
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that's not the same for other businesses. food prices are up. airline fares up. it's costing all of us a lot more to fill up at the pump. speculationing that unrest in libya may spread is pushing up the price of oil. >> right now, the market is concluding that the turmoil in the middle east is far from over. it's going to spread. the question is not if it will spread, the question is you know, how big is going to be and what the impact will be. >> the obama administration is under pressure from some congressional lawmakers to tap into the country's strategic petroleum reserve. an emergency stockpile of 727 million barrels of oil. it tag into the reserve is one option under review. >> we're in discussions about the various options that are available in the global system to deal with a major disruption
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uption should that occur. >> but gas prices are rising so steeply for small businesses that the gas pinch is beginning to feel more like a punch. and phil caruso's business has been around for a while. during the '70s oil crisis they resorted to delivering flowers by bicycle. he they might have to pull out the bicycles to do it. >> takes a little longer. thanks for that. there's a growing humanitarian crisis as thousands of people try to flee libya's civil war. we're taking you live to the boarder with tunisia. a scene of incredible suffering. the cash connection between gadhafi and some of the biggest names in music including beyonce. she and other stars are now doing damage control. australian leaders divided on down under delicacdelicacy.
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the civil war in libya has sparked a huge refugee crisis, but it's not just libyans trying to flee the violence shattering the country. ivan watson is at the libyan/tunisian border. what are you seeing as you're watching it today? >> wolf, more than 200,000 people have fled libya since this crisis began, more than 100,000 across the border here to tunisia. what has been very strange about
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this refugee crisis is that most of the people we're seeing fleeing are not libyans. they're mostly foreign men. why? because roughly one in eight people in libya at the time this crisis erupted were foreign migrant work hes, people from all over the world going to libya to try to eke out a living. and many of these people coming across the border coming across saying they hadn't had a chance to eat in days. that they've been robbed by libyan soldiers and libyan police coming across the border. some of them not even having their passports when when they came across, coming across hungry and afraid and being helped by tunisians who immediately offered them food and water. take a listen to what some had to say to us at the border. >> i still very hungry. >> why? >> i never eat anything. >> no food for four days. >> no food. never sleeping. you see my face.
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i so very tired. >> people are so very tired. afraid to come out. you can help them to bring them out. they're afraid because of the libyans. >> what are the libyans doing? >> attacking. >> attacking who? >> the foreigners. >> all foreigners? >> yeah. >> yeah? >> entirely west african. >> why are they attacking west africans. >> about the man, the leader. brought some -- >> they're human. we should do this. i'm student. i should do this. >> yeah. >> i even go to the study. i'm here for just for helping people. >> and wolf, you're hearing there from one nigerian man telling a story. we're starting to hear from sub-saharan africans they are being subject to attacks and discrimination by some libyans
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who are suspicious they could be some of the alleged mercenaries that moammar gadhafi has hired to conduct his campaign of opposition in libya, worried about reprisal attacks being carried out even if they had nog to do with the alleged mercenaries. >> once the refugees make it to tunisia, is there enough food and water and medical equipment there to help them? >> we've seen that effort improve dramatically over the last week with united nations stepping in making a tent city a transit camp with thousands of tents that can house up to 15,000 people and many of these people will be waiting there as their governments or aid organizations try to fly them out. over the weekend we saw the u.s. military joining this international effort providing a number of flights through military cargo planes, repatriating egyptians, for instance, back to cairo.
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there have been more than 50,000 egyptians we've heard repatriated throughout this christ. we've now seen an zimted 15,000 bangladeshis trapped along the border and there have been calls for assistance to help them get back home. bangladesh doesn't seem to have the resources or aircraft to try to move those people back home. that's a major concern for the united nations right now. >> thanks very much, ivan watson reporting. the libya turmoil certainly has been hugely embarrassing for some of the biggest pop stars in the world. nel a furtado, ma rye ca carrey, usher all pocked huge amounts of money from gadhafi's clan to perform. now they're donating those millions of dollars. kareen wynter is following developments. >> well, wolf, let's face it, many of these performers pull in big bubs from these private parties but the controversy is your rounding the latest gadhafi
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links is changing the way some artists do business. ♪ >> beyonce, mariah carey, nellie furtado. a list artists now coming clean about their paid private performances for embattled libyan leader moammar gadhafi's family. >> if you're performing for blood money, for dict dictators, it's not going to be good for your public image. >> yahoo! music managing editor lindsay parker says the off stage shows can generate millions each year for music megastars. much more than tours and declining record sales. >> this is showbiz business and money talks. the music industry is in trouble right now. greed plays a part. >> you can sometimes make as much as you can in a week on tour by doing one show. the general range is probably 750 to $2 million. >> peter katz whose clients include backstreet boys and
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jane's addiction says many acs are now taking a hard look at the pr price of some private parties. the recent embarrassing headlines of artists like beyonce linked to gadhafi sent red flags all across the country. >> people are going to ask who's going to be there and what the gig is actually for. the attraction is there. the phone will ring. your agent will call and the temptation is there to just take the check. and that's the problem. >> beyonce reportedly banked a cool million for singing at a gadhafi gala in st. bart's in 2009. she donated all knees from the event. usher who got paid to attend gadhafi's show with beyonce said he's giving away his cash to charity. furtado tweeted she too is giving away the goods from a show in 2007. >> some managers say that sends the wrong message for many artists these type of private
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gigs, it's their bread and butter. where do you walk the line? >> each artist has his own conscience to think about. and you know, depending on and need to figure out what they stand behind themselves. you get a lot of requests that are actually possibly quite shady. >> still many industry insiders say at end of the day, these performances pay big-time. so many deals, even shady ones will continue to fly under the radar. >> look at the price tag. they say you want to pay us $2 million and fly to us st. bart's? sure, where i do i sign. >> wolf, that's really the issue here. passing on a lucrative deal, who wants to turn down money like that. i guess you have to look at it from a business versus ethical standpoint. >> and you've got to wonder, a lot of these artists, and you've been speaking with them, wonder about their own image if they accept money from a dictator or a thug or a killer or someone like that.
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they're worried about their image down the road. >> they really are. that's why you're seeing the artists like beyonce, megastars coming clean saying we did it, but we donated it. it also raises the issue, how many of the performances that are shady are these artists not necessarily beyonce but other artists have contributed to that is under the radar that we perhaps don't know the about today but could surface tomorrow. >> with the handheld mobile devices that will surface right away if they think they can get away with it, they won't for very long. good report. the obama administration is reaching out to muslim americans right now as anxiety builds over controversial muslim radicalization hearings that some are calling a witch hunt. and australia's prime minister thinks it's tasty. find out what president obama really doesn't want for breakfast ever. are worth 25% more on travel. we're like forget florida, we're going on a safari.
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cnn can now confirm that president obama will nominate gary locke the commerce secretary to be the next ambassador to china.
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is he a chinese american, a former governor. he's going to be assuming he gets confirmed by the senate heading to beijing. he'll be replacing jon huntsman, the former governor of utah as the u.s. am bass tore to china. i believe this is the first time a chinese american will represent the united states in china as the top u.s. diplomat. we'll have more on the story later. other stories we're following. muslim americans protesting a house hearing it planned for later this week on radic radicalization in their community. they say they're being unfairly singled out but the lawmaker behind it all sees the hearing very differently. cnn's mary snow is following the controversy for us. what's this controversy all about? >> well, wolf, that lawmaker you just referenced is congressman peter king, the chairman of the homeland security committee. he says these hearings are necessary but many muslim americans call them a witch hunt. >> the roots of violent extremism. >> in a sign of the anxiety among muslim americans hundreds demonstrated in times square
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sunday. people of all faiths protested congressman peter king's hearings on theed radicalization of muslim americans. they fear the hearings will stoke islamaphobia. meanwhile in virginia, the president's deputy national security adviser spoke at a mosque. >> the bottom line is this. when it comes to preventing violent extremism and terrorism in the united states, muslim americans are not part of the problem. you're part of the solution. >> reporter: it comes as king, a new york republican and chairman of the homeland security committee, gets ready to begin hearings that have sparked controversy since he announced them. >> i've said time and time again, the overwhelming of muslims are outstanding americans. at this stage, there is an effort to radicalize elements within the muslim community. >> many muslim americans liken the hearing to a witch hunt and strongly deny his claims that muslim american community leaders are not cooperating enough with law enforcement and that includes one of the only two muslims in congress who is
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also worked in the anti-terrorism unit in indiana's department of homeland security. >> from my own personal experience, i can say definitively this is simply untrue. i think that peter king, i don't think he's a bad human being but i think he's grossly misinformed. >> a study done by the triangle center on terrorism and homeland security done at the university of north carolina found that of muslim american terrorism plots that were disrupted, 48 of 128 cases involved tips from the muslim american community. it the other muslim congressman democrat keith ellison of minnesota and others are calling on king tong broaden the hearings to include all forms of extremism. not single out muslims. but when we met with king last month, he dismissed that. >> if you're investigating everyone, you're investigating no one. as the chairman of the leader, it's my goal to find out what the real threats are and examine them, not throw everybody into the bag so we can say everyone's guilty, everyone's responsible.
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>> and king added people can judge after hearings whether or not they were fair adding he believes they will be. dozens of organization say these hearings will be device i be and called on him to broaden their scope. >> we'll cover the hearings. thanks very much. a classroom of students, two world leaders and a big divide over an australian point of pride. at 190 miles per hour, the wind will literally lift ordinary windshield wipers off the glass. so, did we build a slower car?
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not they were fair adding he pride. not they were fair adding he pride. president obama and the australian prime minister julia gillard gave students at wakefield high school in arlington, virginia, just outside washington the surprise of their lives when they showed up unexpectedly. >> she brought me an australian football. she was kicking it in my office. i almost broke a bust of lincoln. that's not true, guys. i was just making that up. >> handballing it in the office. >> i don't want a diplomatic incident.
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>> we were handballing it. so has anybody got a question about australia? yes. uh-oh. >> my family and i have been wondering this for a little while. what is that term? >> this is also a little bit of a division between the president and i. i love veg ja might. >> it's horrible. >> it's actually a by-product of making beer, apparently, that's how the story goes. it's a yeast paste. i'm making it sound really good, aren't i? it's black. and it's quite salty. the beginners era with vegamite is to put too much on your piece of bread or toast. you don't put it on like jam or anything like that. you've got to do it very lightly, spread it thinly and it's good. >> so it's like a quasi vegetable by-product paste. that you smear on your toast.
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for breakfast. sounds good, doesn't it? >> we'll get some sent over and you can have a try. it's addictive. once you've had some when you were small, you will crave it when you're an adult. >> fair enough. >> you smear it or do you smear it? what's the correct word? smear? we'll discuss. president obama and the prime minister, by the way, also sang happy birthday to the teacher at that school. happy birthday, teacher are. the cafferty file is coming up next. then a new twist for charlie sheen. (announcer) dry cracked skin? anti-itch tion gives fast, lasting relief. got an itch? gold bond lotion. the quick fix for almost every itch.
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get right back to jack. he's got the cafferty file. jack? >> the question this hour, is the federal government broken beyond repair? kathleen in south carolina, it's broken because we've allowed the radical elements on both sides to push their agendas rather than the country's agenda. nothing will improve until all states come up with nonpartisan groups to decide balanced voting districts instead of safe ones. by forcing the radicals to compete on a level playing field in open primaries, most of them will lose, and maybe then we can
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get back to rational adult government. if not, we're toast. laura in california. we have let our differences drive us too far apart. everyone needs to come to the table and compromise. term limits could help a lot of this. politicians fear the stand by their principles and those of their constituents on account of an outspoken minority. look how much got done during the lame duck session. jerry writes if the current politicians if power keep focusing on the next election in 2012, more son matters of indisputable importance, then not only they, but the nation will be broken beyond repair. a collapse, although probably not imminent does not seem beyond possibility. david in north carolina, as thomas jefferson said, when the poor figure out they can loot the treasury if the elect the right politicians, america is done. looks like we're there. ronnie writes, i really hope the federal government isn't broken beyond repair. have i two grandkids who will bear the brunt of it is it is. when did compromise become a
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dirty word? i always thought politics was the art of the possible. yet what i see today is disgusting. with both parties trying to outdemonize the other, i wonder if it's hopeless. ken in atlantic city writes the government's monetarily broke and internally broken beyond repair. the worst thing is the president and congress have no interest in fixing the problem. nobody is willing to cut defense, end the two wars, cut corporate subsidies, nationalize the oil supply or raise the taft tax rates. and i no longer care about the next election, i care more about the next revolution, american revolution. it's time. if you want to read more on the subject, you'll find it on my blog, file. >> will do. thank you very much. charlie sheen's troubled tv career takes another twist today. we'll tell you what new hollywood bombshell dropped.
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"two and a half men" minus one. charlie sheen has been fired. warner brothers television terminated sheen's contract with the sitcom today. cnn's jeanne moos has more now on the sheen saga and the backlash. >> reporter: it's the sheening of america. >> welcome to sheen's corner. >> reporter: he is on every corner. >> live from new york, it's saturday night. >> reporter: sir use radio. spike tv will feature sheen's
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greatest antics in taiwan's animation. he has even alienated witches for misusing the word warlock. >> we bind you. >> reporter: so a couple witches in massachusetts performed anner have vention. >> we need to come and cleanse your house. >> reporter: but his webcasts are what tip the scale. >> the tag line is or thepede doefs truth. >> reporter: it seems the shine has come off charlie sheen. in one west cast he showed off a tattoo on his wrist of his slogan winning, and said hi to his kids. >> daddy loves you. and if you're watching, tell mom to leave the room. it's on. >> reporter: one of his goddesses perched on his lap. sheen was literally playing with fire as viewers wait for him to combust. >> it's an early image. i'm burning my own face, but i can't feel the [ bleep ] heat. >> reporter: as one poster on tmz put it, parents, make your kids watch this. if that doesn't scare them away
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from drugs, nothing will. you know the joke has become a little too sick when a comedian refuses to tell any more jokes about charlie sheen. craig ferguson spoke of how the english insane asylum named bedlam. >> they would look through the peepholes of the cells, and they would look at the lunatics. and looking at the charlie sheen thing unfold, and i'm thinking oh, man. >> reporter: ferguson wasn't kidding. no more charlie sheen jokes. sheen himself has become a verb. the creators of south park used it to describe the state they got themselves in hen they once dressed in drag for the oscars. >> we're just sheening our heads off. >> reporter: from our couches, we judge who does the best sheen. it is "snl"? >> sorry, middle america. losers winning, bye-bye. >> reporter: or jimmy fallon. >> winning, adonis dna. i'm a veteran rock star. a tiger, like zeus in a speedo. >> reporter: but something stinks.

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN March 7, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Libya 51, Gadhafi 38, U.s. 34, America 20, Us 19, Nato 13, United States 11, India 11, Tripoli 10, Charlie Sheen 8, Moammar Gadhafi 8, Sarah Palin 8, United Nations 7, Zawiya 7, Britain 6, Cnn 6, U.n. 6, Colin Powell 5, Bill Richardson 5, Peter King 4
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Duration 02:00:00
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on 6/19/2011